Deadly Mendocino Complex Captures More Land Growing Over 9,000 Acres Yesterday

The Little Tujunga Hotshots conducted a successful burning operation along the fireline between Mid Mountain Road and Eel River west of Lake Pillsbury on Monday night, August 13

The Little Tujunga Hotshots conducted a successful burning operation along the fireline between Mid Mountain Road and Eel River west of Lake Pillsbury on Monday night, August 13. [Photo and caption from InciWeb–photographer Dave Mills]

The massive and now deadly Mendocino Complex refuses to be controlled and took new land–over 18,000 9000 acres since yesterday to command a total of 363,925. Containment dropped to 64% today from 68% yesterday and there were new mandatory evacuations in Glenn County.

The Northern California Geographic Center reports, “Damage assessments have found 145 residences, 118 minor structures, and 1 multiple residence destroyed. Damage assessment is continuing.” One firefighter, Draper City, Utah Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett, died the day before yesterday and several more firefighters have been injured.

According to the Press Democrat,

Burchett was battling flames downstream of Lake Pillsbury’s Scott Dam when he was hit by a falling tree, said Todd Derum, Cal Fire Division Chief for Sonoma County. Three others from Kings County, near Fresno, also were injured, he said. The Lake Pillsbury section of the fire includes some of the toughest current firefights.

For more information on evacuations and road closures, click here or see the evacuation map below.

The Plan:

Members of the Little Tujunga Hotshots refill a drip torch during burning operations along the fireline between Mid Mountain Road and the Eel River west of Lake Pillsbury on Monday night, August 13.

Members of the Little Tujunga Hotshots refill a drip torch during burning operations along the fireline between Mid Mountain Road and the Eel River west of Lake Pillsbury on Monday night, August 13.[Photo and caption from InciWeb–photographer Dave Mills]

The Ranch Fire pushed northward again yesterday. According to Cal Fire,
The Ranch Fire continues to threaten the Mendocino National Forest as well as communities that reside north of the fire perimeter.
Throughout the night, the Ranch Fire progressed north…[S]teep and rugged terrain, dry fuel, and hot weather continue to challenge
suppression efforts. Overnight fire crews constructed control lines and implemented new dozer lines, tying together preexisting
containment barriers. Crews continued structure preparation and defense in the communities threatened by the Ranch Fire. Today
operations will focus on the northwest and northeast edges of the Ranch Fire, while continuing to develop strategic plans to slow the
northern push towards Lake Pillsbury.

No growth is expected now on the south end of the fire around the Clear Lake communities.

Mount Konocti looms in the foreground, the jeweled strand of lights along Clear Lake slide through the center, and the massive tower of flames in the back is the Ranch Fire

Mount Konocti looms in the foreground, the jeweled strand of lights along Clear Lake slide through the center, and the massive tower of flames in the back is the Ranch Fire. [Photo from here about 12:45 a.m.]

The River Fire is now completely contained. Total acreage on the fire is 48,920.

The Weather:  

Mount Konocti cam shows smoke hanging over Clear Lake this morning. 

Mount Konocti cam shows smoke hanging over Clear Lake this morning.   [Image from here]

Expect more of the same today. The weather will be hot and dry. Expect smoke in the morning with the air clearing and smoke moving eastward in the afternoon. It will be hazy and hot for the next few days. Temperatures will rise over the weekend reaching into the triple digits in some areas.

The Roads:

All major roads are open throughout the Mendocino Complex.  However, many smaller roads are closed so check Cal Fire for the latest.

The MAPS:

  • Mendocino Complex Operations Map –to see details either zoom or click on the map and download a pdf.
    Northern edge of the Mendocino Complex August 15.

    Northern edge of the Mendocino Complex August 15 (The South is behind containment lines.)

    KMZ Map–Zoom for detail or for 3D imagery, click on the map and download a file that connects with your Google Earth program.

    Mendocino Complex Infrared interpretation map

    Mendocino Complex Infrared map from August 14. There is no August 15 available at this time.

    Evacuation Map:

    Evacuation Map current as of 6 p.m. yesterday.

    Evacuation Map current as of 6 p.m. August 13. Click here for a larger version or zoom in. See the Glenn County Sheriff’s Facebook page for updated evacuations in that area.

DONATIONS:

Earlier Chapters:

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6 comments

  • Cal Fire report for this morning 8/15 says 500 acres yesterday, and 8935 acres overnight. Still horrible but not 18000.

  • Calfire Not Trusted

    All I can say is wow!! It sure has been a mismanaged fire all along, Calfire could care less about the Mendocino Complex when it was still a small fire. Calfire management just sat back and let this fire get bigger and bigger while they focused on other fires. I know, I know, “dont criticize firefighters, they have a hard job”… Ok, lets be clear, I am not criticizing firefighters, but rather, the management at Calfire, the incident commanders who sat idly by and ignore Mendocino while other fires recieved way more firefihters, resources and attention. Of course Lake County is a poor County and not as valuable as Redding, not to mention the number of threatened residences, but why no serious strategy in the first days of Mendo Complex to get this fire out, looking at the fire map, it os clear Calfire has steered this fire and literally controlled this fire to burn deep into Snow Mountain -Mendocino National Forest, was this the intended plan all along, it seems like it just may be. Then the Trump administration using this fire which was allowed to grow bigger and bigger uses the opportunity as soon as the Fire reached Federal Winlderness Lands to claim the fires are burning because of environmental laws that restrict water to firefighter, and that we need to cut down the forests to save them. All along there have been hints that this is a very large controlled burn which Calfire is purposefully letting burn just as it has many fires since 2014. Do not expect them to be honest, all government officials have Public Information Officers whose job it is to lie, discredit, fool and coverup wrongdoings, and maintain “damage control” for their department, indeed they are not forthcoming, honest or truthful about what is tak8ng place, people need to demand answers

  • Fight fire with fire

    Kym, where did you get the 18,000 acres from? Thanks for your hard work!

    • Ugh…Thanks for catching me. I made an error and used the numbers from the night before last not yesterday morning. It is over 9000 acres in 24 hours. I’ve fixed the post. I’m so sorry!

  • Report reads: “The Ranch Fire continues to threaten the Mendocino National Forest as well as communities that reside north of the fire perimeter”
    But if fire is a natural element in the foresta why is calfire claiming the fire “continues to threaten Mendocino National Forest”, maybe the fire is threatening homes near Lake Pillsbury, but fire is a natural forest element, why not accept the fact that these foresta burn, the entire Forestry division and putring our fires was originally to protect corporate timber interests, they refused to let nature run her course and this is why we are seeing these mega fires. Fire is not bad or catastrophic, fire is a natural element of our foresta that acts as a checks and balance system to keep our forests productive and healthy in the longterm outlook of the firest and planet. Calfkre knows this, and that is why they are purposefully steering the fire where they want it to go and putting it out where they do not need it. This is a controlled burn at thia point. If Calfire wanted it out they would have put it out in the first couple days instead of completely ignoring the fire. How about some honesty from Calfire officials who are putting firefighters luves in jeorpardy while maintaining silence about who, when wherw and why these fires are purposefully allowed to get bigger and bigger. Man up Calfire officials.

    • Sorry I Know It's Harsh But

      I agree with some of what you say. Fire is natural and it is actually a good thing- unless it burns up you or your house! I don’t see any reason for them to blow huge resources keeping it away from national forest or wilderness areas. And honestly…if you have a wooden house out there well, those are the breaks. It was gonna happen sometime. We can’t all spend billions every year and risking firefighters’ lives saving combustible houses built in fire-ecology woodlands! Build small or build w/ rock, don’t invest too much or get too attached! You live in fire country. Yes of course- save lives. But stuff? Burnable stuff brought into a fire zone?

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